María Fernanda Arango María Fernanda Arango

PBL - Lesson Plan 1
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn how to use modal verbs in the context of proposing climate change solutions that can be implemented in our daily lives.


Abc PowerPoint Presentation
Abc 2 Handouts (Word documents)

Main Aims

  • To introduce and provide practice of functional language in the form of modal verbs to propose climate change solutions.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in the context of an oral presentation about climate change solutions.
  • To provide review and practice of environmental issues vocabulary in the context of climate change solutions


Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson's context and engage students in the topic

• Show students the following National Geographic Showcase video: about the role of human beings in climate change. • Introduce the following questions, modelling an answer first before eliciting answers and opinions from the students and encouraging interaction between them: What do you take from the video? In your opinion, what was the message? How did you feel when watching the visuals and photos? What solutions does he propose? What can we do, as human beings, to save the world? • Nominate students to explain the reasons for their answers, to express their opinions and interact with their classmates in a brief OCFB session. Make sure to also give answers yourself so that students have a model of possible responses.

Target Language Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text

• Focus students on the photos of environmental threats as a way to set the context for the upcoming gist activity. You can use the photos and material provided by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) at: • Ask students who, or what entity, is responsible for causing these problems. Ask them if they know of a way to measure the impact human beings have on the planet's environment. • Then, instruct students to read the text on Ecological Footprints (Student's Book, p.44). Now you are going to quickly read the following short text and find out what is an ecological footprint. You have one minute. Keep on projecting the text on the screen so that students can practice their reading subskill of reading for gist, but without spending too much on the text. • Then, lead a brief OCFB session for students to share their answers. All together brainstorm different ways people could reduce their ecological footprints. Encourage students to come up to the board and write their ideas on the board. • Then, set clear instructions for the upcoming listening activity (Student's Book, p.44): Now we are going to listen to a conversation between two friends, Rachel and George, who are discussing ecological footprints. Listen and find out if any of the solutions we came up with are mentioned in the audio. • Project the instructions on the board and, before starting the task, model an answer: For example: Tim is talking about recycling plastic and paper. This is something that we had already included in our brainstorm activity. • Ask ICQs to make sure students have understood the activity. If no clarifications are needed, play the audio track. • Then, project the answer key on the board to avoid slowing down the pace of the lesson. • Then, set instructions for the second listening activity, using the same audio: Now we are going to listen to the same audio again and, in pairs, you are going to choose the correct words/phrases. Listen carefully and write down your answers in your notebooks. • Project the question on the board and give students a moment to read through the statements. Then, play the audio a second time. • Once the audio has finished, lead a brief OCFB session to provide a space for students to share their answers. Provide corrections and feedback on the spot to maximise students' understanding.

Target Language Clarification (8-10 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form, and pronunciation of the target language

• Introduce the aim and target language of the lesson: Today we are going to learn and practice the use of modal verbs, specifically should and shouldn't to give advice and recommendations. This will be extremely useful for your final oral presentations when you will propose the climate change solutions you have thought of. • Project on the screen the target language: I think people should... We ought to... We shouldn't... • Then, give students the first handout and lead students through a guided discovery of the meaning and form of the target language: Now you are going to analyse the meaning and form of the target language we are learning today. You will answer some multiple-choice questions individually on the handout sent through the chat. As you are all together in the group, you can discuss the answers here with each other. You have 2 minutes; we will then check the answers. • Project the handout in case some students do not have access to the document through the chat. After students have completed the handout, check students’ understanding of the target language’s MFA, checking answers together using the following teaching techniques: - Model answers and examples. - Elicit answers. - Systematic drills (choral and individual). - CCQs to check understanding. • Elicit answers and ideas from students to check the form of the target language (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.). However, be careful not to focus too much on technical terms, given that the focus of the lesson is not on grammar but in using the language. Focus on the students correctly using the target language. • Drill the pronunciation of the target language chorally and individually. Provide a model of the pronunciation and elicit answers from students on sentence and word stress, as well as intonation. • Focus on the intonation and word stress of the target language, as it is central to the understanding of the target language in everyday conversations. • Do not place too much emphasis on the technical aspects of grammar and provide as much practice opportunities for students. Nominate and encourage them to formulate their own sentences using the second conditional. If they show difficulties, model an example first, use CCQs to check understanding and elicit answers from them.

Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice using the target language

• After having clarified the MFPA of the target language, introduce a controlled practice task (use the online article from Global Citizen "10 Bold Ideas for Climate Action That Are Actually Achievable" as a template): Now that we are familiar with the use of modal verbs to give advice and recommendations, you are going to complete the following task: In your assigned groups for the project, you are going to propose four ideas for climate action in a persuasive manner by using the modal verbs we have learnt today. You can use the ideas mentioned in this article to inspire you to, but remember that you need to present your information as advice that people can follow to help the planet. You have 5 minutes. • Project the exercise on the screen. Model an answer to ensure students understand what to do: Based on the UK's National Climate Service, I believe that leading public and private institutions should create a National Cliamate Service programme that is led by youth leaders and local environmental activists. This could help to build a communal space that is oriented towards amassing the efforts of multiple people to reach a common goal. • Do not interrupt students while they're working. Monitor their work and offer assistance if necessary and if asked for.

Freer Practice (10-12 minutes) • To provide students with freer practice of the target language

• Introduce the communicative task using clear instructions and modelling the task first: Now that you have practiced the target language and crafted your own solutions, you are going to present this list of advice to the rest of your classmates. In the same groups, you are going to prepare a short oral presentation to try and persuade your friends to adopt the advice and recommendations that you are offering them. Remember to use the modal verbs we learnt today and the vocabulary about climate change that we have been learning. Listen carefully to the other groups and be ready to share with the class what you think about their advice. • Give students some time to prepare their answers and oral presentation skills. Make sure to set the time limit: You have two minutes to prepare your ideas and two minutes to present your proposals. Then, we will have an open-class discussion to share our opinions. • Start the oral presentations and encourage all the team members from each group to participate; do not allow only one student to speak for the entire group, as this can prevent others from honing their speaking skills. • OCFB session: Encourage students to share what they thought about the other groups' work, whether they would follow their advice, and/or what improvements they would recommend. • Conduct feedback on the productive skills task and provide DEC, prioritizing self and peer correction. • Praise students for their good work and end the lesson.

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